About Us

Photo: New America

New America’s Public Interest Technology team connects technologists to public interest organizations. We aim to improve services to vulnerable communities and strengthen local organizations that serve them.

We are engineers, designers, product managers, and researchers. Our approach starts and ends with user needs. We believe in humanity, humans, and human-centered design. We design and deploy technology that serves people and solves problems, not technology for technology’s sake.

What is Public Interest Technology?

Public Interest Technology is a field dedicated to leveraging technology to support public interest organizations and the people they serve. For decades, public interest organizations have worked to improve the lives of the general public. They work on issues that shape our everyday lives, including protecting the environment, human rights, child welfare, and reforming criminal justice.

As public interest technologists, we seek ways to ensure technology allows and enables public interest organizations to best serve all people.

Our Goals

  1. Do good in the world. We want to deliver measurable, sustainable, long-lasting impact to improve people's lives.

  2. Build partnerships. We want to build an ecosystem where technologists can connect to and support organizations that serve the public and general public interests. This includes non-profit organizations, government, philanthropists, universities, and private sector companies.

  3. Create career paths. We dream of a generation that goes into engineering, data science, and design because they want a career that does the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.

Our Areas of Impact

  1. Child welfare. This work has two parts. First, collect and share information about funders, nonprofits, and current best practices around the country in one central, accessible location. Second, collaborate across this field to generate national goals on which we can collectively focus and achieve measurable outcomes that improve the lives of children in the welfare system.

  2. Criminal justice. This work has two separate and distinct projects. First, using data transparency and engagement to build trust between police and communities. Second, identifying interventions that will divert individuals with mental health needs away from prison and toward sustainable health services.

  3. Immigration. We will focus on building sustainable tools and services for three key (and occasionally overlapping) groups and the organizations that serve them: undocumented immigrants, immigrants from Muslim countries, and refugees.

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